Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Revisiting the Security Maxims

From "Security Maxims" by Roger G. Johnston
http://www.ne.anl.gov/capabilities/vat/seals/maxims.html

Always material to mine here by comparing these broad general statements to my work in physical security and so I started reading through them again and found this:

Low-Tech Maxim: Low-tech attacks work (even against high-tech devices and systems).
Comment: So don’t get too worked up about high-tech attacks.


Indeed they do. You can put a high security deadbolt with a high security key on a door and if the bad guy can kick the whole door in or pry it open with a big screwdriver, they are just as 'in' as if they had the key. Seen it.

This also applies to picking attacks on houses. It seems there are few since most houses here in Canada can be breached with a big boot. Why invest in subtle when blunt is faster and more reliable? The criminal implications are the same either way.

Oh, here is a different example. I was doing work in a mall kiosk and one of the staff complained his Audi was broken into so they could get at his iPod and its charging cable. Really? He left them visible? No, he had them in the glove box and only the male end of the cable could be seen. They broke a window and it cost him more for the window than the iPod. Remember folks, all car windows break about the same.


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The contents of this post are released for non-profit or educational use in whole or in part provided this statement and the attribution below are kept attached.

Laux Myth ... Thoughts From a Locksmith
By MartinB, Found @ http://lauxmyth.blogspot.com/

Monday, June 20, 2011

"My Key Has Lost Its House."

It is amazing what you find when you scour the net for interesting 'stuff'. I stumbled on this poem and thought it worth a share.

From the 2004 book
"After Every War: Twentieth-Century Women Poets"

Translations from the German by Eavan Boland
Original text by Rose Ausländer entitled Mein Schlüssel

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My Key

My key
has lost its house.

I go from house to house
but none fits.

I have found
the locksmith.

My key fits
into his grave.



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Laux Myth ... Thoughts From a Locksmith
By MartinB, Found @ http://lauxmyth.blogspot.com/

Sunday, June 19, 2011

That's how it works! Inside a door lock.


On another site, I found this excellent animation to show how the inside of a pin tumbler works. Have a look! You can see at the start the pins cross the shear line and so the plug could not turn. When the key is fully inserted, the line separating the bottom pins from the drivers is flat with the top of the plug and so the key can now turn the plug. The rotation step is not shown here.

I found I had to open a tumblr.com account to post the image there as an animated GIF and link to it. I sent thanks to the GIF creator and you may follow the watermark to that blog if you wish but be warned, it is NSFW and has significant adult content.


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The contents of this post are released for non-profit or educational use in whole or in part provided this statement and the attribution below are kept attached.

Laux Myth ... Thoughts From a Locksmith
By MartinB, Found @ http://lauxmyth.blogspot.com/

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Coaching those who dials safes

I was called to a job site to change the combination of a safe lock and found the new operator of this container* did not usually dial safes. It took some time to get him back doing it smoothly. As is often the case, I would rather teach him good dialing technique than have his coworker try to pass on her instructions. (In this case she was the person giving up custody of the contents and it is so much easier if you know the code.) If I do stand around hearing one person try to teach the next, I sometimes want to pull my hair out since they have learned it from some other coworker in some long game of 'telephone'.

Later, that same day I had the chance to reflect on the word coach instead of teach. As a teacher, I know how people react when you tell them you will teach them anything. This is doubly true of adults. You teach people things they do not know when you know it all. Or so the emotional tone of the word works. It may be true but building that defensive wall does not help the communication.

I have taken to describe what I do as coaching. When you coach, you start by saying the person knows some or most of what they need to do and you are there only to improve their skills. Granted, sometimes I am the little league coach and there are 'few' skills there when I start. This can be best as there are no bad habits to clear out. More often, the operator knows everything needed to dial the safe except for one small point. Also, once you say you are coaching you can explain why you are getting in a bit close to see the dial as they spin. I challenge you to try this and see how people react to 'coaching' and yet the rest of what you have to say is all the same.



* I find it funny that safe techs will use just the word container for any kind of locked box at all. It can be 50 lbs or 20 kg of steel with a 'modest' lock. However, it could also be 6000 lbs or 2400 kg of steel, concrete and other stuff with multiple high end locks. Either way it is just a container.


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The contents of this post are released for non-profit or educational use in whole or in part provided this statement and the attribution below are kept attached.

Laux Myth ... Thoughts From a Locksmith
By MartinB, Found @ http://lauxmyth.blogspot.com/